Serving off the edge

Table Tennis Rules

Last updated 5 years ago

Oslo Barnes

Oslo Barnes Asked 5 years ago


Am I allowed to hit the ball off the sides when serving the ball?

By the way this website is great


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 5 years ago

Hi Oslo,

Yes you are allowed to serve so that the ball goes off the side line after it bounces on your opponent's side.

Only in wheelchair Table Tennis this isn't allowed.

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D K Posted 5 years ago

I have two questions
1)Regarding wheelchair,how exactly it is with short serves?
If I serve along the mid line,what is the exact limit?
I usually serve long as I se no advantage in using short serves when I consider the major reaction of my opponents so I am only interested.
2)How can I serve wide off the sideline while maintaining max speed?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 5 years ago

Hi DK,

For wheelchair the ball if you let it go must go off the end line even if it is after several bounces or even rolling.

To get the wide serve faster you need to serve it with some topspin to make the ball dip quickly onto the table in a short space.


D K Posted 5 years ago

OK,thanks :)

Jesse Sweeney

Jesse Sweeney Posted 5 years ago

Is this an effective serve? I'm new to table tennis and we thought that serve may be illegal since if you serve it very short and slice it off the edge, it seems like a return is very difficult. Yet, when I watch some matches, I rarely ever see this technique. Your thoughts?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 5 years ago

Hi Jesse,

It is legal to serve of the edge.  One reason you don't see it often is that it also opens up the angle for your opponent and the ball only bounces once on your opponent's side which allows them to attack it more easily.


D K Posted 5 years ago

Jesse,I was referring rather to He Zhi Wen serve.
He alternates with fast wide topspin serve.

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